Robotics on tour with Björk

 
 

Robotics on tour with Björk


The Biophilia Tour was the seventh concert tour by Icelandic musician Björk. The tour was centered on her multimedia project and studio album Biophilia (2011). The tour premiered at the Manchester International Festival and visited Europe, Americas, Asia and featured the singer's first performance in Africa. (Wikipedia)

During the pre-production for Bjork’s Biophilia tour, I was contacted by Andy Cavatorta, the creator of the “Gravity Harps”, which is a unique musical instrument used in the tour. (videos below). My involvement in the project included getting the music playing robots ready for the stage in NYC, and then operating the robots on tour.

Major contributions made include overseeing the creation of the instruments final implementation in Manchester UK, debugging software and hardware critical to the instruments operation, and a number of tuning activities before each performance. I also hit the “go button” during each performance, which was always interesting.

This was one of the most stressful jobs I have taken on, simply because there were so many moving parts. After we finally figured out that “lumber” is actually “timber” in the UK, things came together fairly quickly. Björk and her team were incredibly professional, and it was a wonderful project to be a part of.